Take the Southern fried swaggery charm of True Blood and replace the vampires and werewolves with zombies; cannibalistic, robotic nightmares; and Cthulhu-esque horrors. Now make half the populace of a quiet little town superpowered and earmark the other half for meat … and you’ve got Aaron Williams’ North 40!
This book from DC Comic’s WildStorm Division is startlingly graphic with a bone-chilling style reminiscent of The Walking Dead and an authentic horror film wash draped over it all. The story itself is as ageless as ancient mythology:
Somewhere in Midwestern America was a place called Conover County. When the old book was opened and the runes therein used in haste and ignorance, a place of farms, simple folk, and small-town dreams became a den of monsters and nightmare. NORTH 40 is the story of those who survived and came to confront an even greater evil on the horizon – one that wouldn’t just consume their flesh, but their souls as well. Heroes arise with power to bring against the dark: Wyatt, an unwilling protector of his former tormentors; Amanda, an apprentice to forgotten arts; and Sheriff Morgan, whose bonds with Conover County go back farther than even he can remember.
Though most of the conventions of this book have been seen before, they are woven with expert precision into the entirety of the tale, allowing the whole to be far more striking than the parts that make it up. Around every corner is a new terror waiting to rend our heroes limb from limb, and while they struggle to protect the rednecks who tormented them before this madness, a greater end game descends on them all.
North 40 would make a killer TV miniseries. You get chills that creep up the back of your neck, unrelenting gore, small town charm, awesome superhero action, and a Lovecraftian mist that runs through every back alley and crevice in which the old ones rest. This is a fantastic read you’ll tear through in no time flat and then stand around wondering when you’ll get to read more. Unfortunately, the six-issue run is all there is at the moment, and even those are hard to come by as comic shops seemed to shun the title. Best to call your favorite comic shop before heading out and see if they would order the books for you, or sit tight and wait for the trade collecting all the issues that is sure to hit in the first quarter of 2010.
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